Wisdom teeth are a source of frustration for many people. Appearing long after the rest of your adult teeth have come through, they can cause pain and discomfort as they begin to emerge. Many people experience difficulty with their wisdom teeth, making their removal necessary. It’s one of the most dental common procedures in the United States, but until you’ve been through wisdom removal yourself, you might not know much about it – including the cost of wisdom tooth removal nationwide.
Learn more about wisdom teeth removal, including the cost, below.
About wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are the last of your adult teeth to come through. Also known as third molars, they are located at the back of your gums. They begin to grow during your late teens and into your 20s, although some people will continue to experience growth in their 30s.
Some people will experience no issues with their wisdom teeth whatsoever, with mild teething symptoms posing the only problem. However, for a large number of people, the eruption of wisdom teeth can cause problems, which leads to a call for their removal.
Why wisdom teeth might need removing
By the time wisdom teeth begin to erupt, you will likely already have 28 of your adult teeth in place. This means that you might not have room for all of your wisdom teeth, or any at all. Unless you’ve had teeth removed in preparation for the growth of wisdom teeth, you could find that there is no room for your wisdom teeth to grow, which can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Some wisdom teeth will grow but will have an effect on your gums and other teeth, or an impacted wisdom tooth could cause a lot of pain within your jaw as it has no room to come through.
When to visit your dentist
Dental pain can be severe and sudden, causing a lot of discomfort. Some people experience not being able to eat, as well as have difficulty sleeping at night. If you’re experiencing a lot of pain as a result of your wisdom teeth, then it’s important that you book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Your dentist will check over the tooth and your mouth to see if removal is necessary. They will perform an x-ray to help identify what’s happening underneath the gum line and see the position of your impacted wisdom tooth or teeth.
As well as suffering problems with the growth of your wisdom teeth, you can also suffer from an infection. In some cases, antibiotics could help resolve the issue provided there are no further growth issues. If your dentist decides that removal is necessary, they will arrange another appointment to carry out the procedure.
Removing wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth removal can be carried out by your regular dentist, or they might refer you to a dental hospital. The procedure usually involves a local anesthetic to numb the area, and then the dentist will try to loosen the tooth by widening the socket to enable them to remove it. Occasionally the tooth will need to be broken and removed in smaller pieces.
It is a short procedure, usually lasting no more than 20 minutes. You might experience pain and discomfort in the days following the removal. However, if you experience pain more than two weeks after the procedure, you should return to your dentist to check for any complications.
The cost of wisdom teeth removal nationwide
The cost of wisdom teeth removal varies as a result of several factors. For example, there will be a significant difference between those needing an impacted tooth removed versus those who will undergo a more straightforward procedure.
The cost of removing wisdom teeth varies between practices. As many dental practices are privately-owned businesses, the practice itself sets the pricing. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t help available to those who can’t afford dental care. Medicaid and CHIP are both options for those on low incomes who need urgent dental treatment.
Having a wisdom tooth extraction under local anesthetic can range from $75 to $200. If you needed all four wisdom teeth removed, you could expect to pay anything from $300 to $800 dollars. Meanwhile, a more complex extraction, such as an impacted tooth, can cost $225 upwards. If you need to have the procedure under general anesthetic, the cost could increase further to up to $800 in total. It’s worth discussing the cost with your dentist upfront, and consider the payment options available to you. Having insurance through your employer or paying for private insurance could help spread the cost.
Complications and aftercare
As with many dental procedures, complications can happen. Improper aftercare can lead to infection, which can lead to further pain and discomfort. Another complication from wisdom tooth removal is dry socket, which happens when a blood clot doesn’t form properly following the procedure, or that it gets dislodged. If dry socket occurs, you will need to go back to your dentist for further treatment.
Caring for your teeth and gums is important, but even more so after a wisdom tooth extraction. You’ll need to stay hydrated after the procedure, but avoid using straws. Be very careful when brushing your teeth, and use diluted mouthwash. It may also help to eat soft foods over the following days, with soup being a good meal option. Avoid foods that may leave leftover traces such as seeded bread, nuts and foods like pasta. It’s also important to take any medication that’s been prescribed by your doctor as directed.
Wisdom tooth removal is something many people will face, but it’s a routine procedure that can help reduce the pain and discomfort caused by wisdom teeth. Monitor any symptoms that aren’t related to regular teething discomfort and make an appointment with your dentist if the pain becomes severe. If you have any questions about the cost of wisdom teeth removal and other concerns, your dentist will be more than happy to answer them.